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Prosecutors will seek retrial in former Franklin County sheriff deputy’s murder case

A former Franklin County sheriff’s deputy charged in the killing of a Black man will face a retrial, prosecutors announced Thursday.

The decision comes just days after a jury couldn’t agree on a verdict in Jason Meade's first trial and the judge declared a mistrial, ending tumultuous proceedings that saw four jurors dismissed.

Special prosecutors Tim Merkle and Gary Shroyer and Montgomery County Assistant Prosecutor Josh Shaw, who were named to handle the case, issued a statement saying “it is in the best interest of all involved and the community" to move forward with another trial. "(We) look forward to presenting what (we) believe is a strong and compelling evidentiary case in support of all the criminal charges against Mr. Meade.”

Meade was charged with murder and reckless homicide in the December 2020 killing of Casey Goodson Jr. in Columbus. Meade, who is white, has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyers said they were not surprised by the prosecution’s decision.

“The political pressure to move forward with this case is palpable and will impede the ability of Jason Meade to get a fair trial," Mark Collins, Kaitlyn Stephens and Steven Nolder said in a statement issued Thursday. “How would you like to be presumed innocent and all of the elected officials in the county where you’re going to be retried have prejudged your case and adjudicated you guilty? ... The blood lust motivating a retrial is real and the state will once again seek their pound of flesh. However, the facts won’t change.”

It's not yet clear when the retrial will be held.

Meade shot Goodson six times, including five times in the back, as the 23-year-old man tried to enter his grandmother’s home. Meade testified that Goodson waved a gun at him as the two drove past each other so he pursued Goodson because he feared for his life and the lives of others. He said he eventually shot Goodson in the doorway of his grandmother’s home because the young man turned toward him with a gun.

Goodson’s family and prosecutors have said he was holding a sandwich bag in one hand and his keys in the other when he was fatally shot. They do not dispute that Goodson may have been carrying a gun and note he had a license to carry a firearm.

Goodson’s weapon was found on his grandmother’s kitchen floor with the safety mechanism engaged.

There is no body camera video of the shooting, and prosecutors repeatedly asserted that Meade is the only person who testified Goodson was holding a gun. Meade was not wearing a body camera.

Goodson was among several Black people killed by white Ohio law enforcement over the last decade — deaths that have all sparked national outrage and cries for police reform.